Prince Harry Opens Up About His Mom's Death And Takes A Stand Against Paparazzi

"Those people that caused the accident, instead of helping, were taking photographs of her dying on the back seat."

With the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana's tragic death rapidly approaching on August 31, Prince Harry is one again reflecting on his much beloved mother's final days.

In the year or so leading up to this landmark anniversary Prince Harry and his older brother, Prince William, have opened up about Diana's life, death, and legacy in ways they never have before. Now Prince Harry is specifically taking issue with the paparazzi who he alleges continued photographing his mother following her crash.

In an interview for a BBC documentary airing on August 27 called Diana, 7 DaysHarry takes a stand and strongly condemns the photographers for their inaction in Diana's final moments. 

"I think one of the hardest things to come to terms with is the fact that the people that chased her into the tunnel were the same people that were taking photographs of her while she was still dying on the back seat of the car," Harry explained, per Mashable


The arguably avoidable circumstances of Princess Diana's death were the impetus for many laws and regulations curbing the paparazzi's typically ferocious behavior. Bustle notes that shortly after Diana passed away The Press Complaints Commission (now known as the Independent Press Standards Organization) in the U.K. stipulated journalists are not allowed to intimidate, harass, or persistently pursue any subjects. 

In America, California has passed several strict anti-paparazzi laws that are a direct result of Diana's demise. The state passed the country's first anti-paparazzi law in 1998, which prevented photographers from trespassing on private property. A clause added in 2005 stated photographers cannot make physical contact with their subjects, and a subsequent law passed in 2010 forbid paparazzi from driving recklessly in pursuit of a photo.

Harry's brave stance against the paparazzi is just the latest important issue he's spoken out about relating to the loss of his mother.Both he and William have spoken candidly about how Diana's passing impacted their own mental health. Along with William's wife, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, they have also stressed the importance of destigmatizing mental health issues via their Heads Together initiative and seeking professional help if and when it's needed.

In a radio interview with The Telegraph's Bryony Gordon back in April, Prince Harry revealed he sought professional counseling "more than a couple of times" in his late 20s to help him process Diana's death. "I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle," he said at the time, adding, "I know there is huge merit in talking about your issues and the only thing about keeping it quiet is that it's only ever going to make it worse."

During a conversation with Lady Gaga earlier this year as part of a series of videos called #OKtosay, William echoed Harry's sentiments. "It's time that everyone speaks up and really feels very normal about mental health. It's the same as physical health," he told the pop star, who suffers from PTSD. "Just having a conversation with a friend or family member can really make such a difference."

The coming days will undoubtedly be hard for the princes, but it is significant, nonetheless, that they are using this coming anniversary to start such important conversations, conversations that have the possibility of helping others.

Cover image via Shutterstock / Mitch Gunn.


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